Black Bean & Quinoa Chili


I think I’ve made this chili at least twice a year since going plant based. It’s been my favorite ever since we first had it and after I modified it. Now I have to tell you where and when this recipe came into my life. It’s not that exciting so don’t get you hopes up.


A few years ago James and I went to see friends that live about an hour away. Every year around the end of October there is a BBQ competition in that area and you can sign up to taste and judge the meat for free. I went one year and then shortly after I had become plant based. So that next year I was just going to go and walk around the different retail booths and see my friends. Well one of my friends just had a baby a few months before and didn’t want to take him out in the cold, so we stayed in town. She found a recipe from for a quinoa and black bean chili and we decided to give it a go! After everyone would be judging meat all afternoon, we figured they might want some veggies with a lot of fiber.

It was delicious! They best part is that it’s smokey. I had never used chipotle chilis in adobo sauce until this recipe. And now anytime I see it in a recipe, I know it will be good! I made a few modifications to it to fit what I like even more. I hope you like it as much as I do. James thinks of chili like Texas chili – basically spicy beef in a tomato sauce. No beans, no veggies. So no doubt he wasn’t really excited to try it, but the last time I made it, he had two bowls. WIN!

Black Bean & Quinoa Chili

  • Servings: Makes 8-10 servings
  • Print


  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed (I use black quinoa for this)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (19 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • cilantro and lime for serving


  1. Bring vegetable broth to boil and add quinoa. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add in the garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with juice, black beans, green and red bell pepper, zucchini, chipotle chili, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer and let simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the quinoa and corn and cook for about 5 minutes more.
  4. You can serve now with cilantro and lime, or let it stay on low for a few hours, stirring occasionally, until ready.
  5. CROCK POT: I’ve made this in a crockpot on low for 6 hours. I cook the quinoa and then add everything, including the cooked quinoa, in the crock pot and stir and let it sit all day. If you are home you might want to stir it after a few hours or add a 1/2 cup of vegebroth to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.


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